Marquette should be even better in 2013-2014

Vander Blue

While the disappointment of laying an egg in the Elite 8 against Syracuse still lingers, the future remains extremely bright for a Marquette program coming off their third straight trip to the Sweet 16.  Assuming Buzz Williams returns for his sixth season and the incoming recruiting class remains in tact, the Golden Eagles should be even better in 2013-14.

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Butler, Xavier, Creighton joining Catholic 7 basketball conference (Big East Update)

catholic-7-basketball-conference-xavier

Multiple sources report The Butler Bulldogs, Creighton Blue Jays and Xavier Musketeers will join the Catholic 7 basketball conference which consists of the seven college basketball only schools previously in the Big East: (Catholic institutions Marquette, DePaul, Georgetown, Villanova, St. John’s, Seton Hall and Providence)

Not since Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation have a group of Catholics felt so freed and empowered. (Remember they were all Catholics before they became Protestants and later Lutherans. Catholic excess was what they were “protesting” against. I guess 7 Catholic schools gave up the Big East conference for Lent.

The Catholic 7 basketball conference will still keep the Big East name. New league begins play July 1

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College basketball is AWFUL in all of Illinois, yet again

depaul blue demon

What a shame. What a crying shame that Chicago, which every year has some of the best preps talent in the country, has zero going for it on the college level. Unless the Illinois Fighting Illini can somehow go 6-3 down stretch (and they face some brutal opponents so this highly unlikely) what Land of Lincoln team will get into the big dance? An improved UIC team that is 9-2 at home and 5-5 on conference could very possibly win the Horizon League Tournament, the only way they get their ticket punched. So maybe zero teams in the NCAAs this year, just like last year, just like four years ago. Juxtapose that with Indiana in 2000, when the Crossroads of America got seven teams in the big dance.

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2013 NBA Draft stock report: Big East edition

michael carter williams syracuse

The NBA Draft Stock Report checks in on which college basketball players have either helped or hurt their future draft position.  This edition focuses on which Big East players have opened some eyes or disappointed since the start of the season.

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Big East/SEC Challenge Preview and Predictions

big_east_logo

With the exodus of Big East teams leaving for the ACC, this is going to be the final year that the Big East/SEC Challenge will have such star power.  The three day event tips off tonight and here is a preview including my brilliant, insightful predictions.

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#2 Louisville Cardinals: College Basketball 111 in 111

pitino

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s third annual college basketball season preview series.  Two years we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  Last year, we were slightly more aggressive and expanded to 111 teams in 111 days and will do so again as we look ahead to the 2012-2013 season.

We will rank the 75 power conference teams and top 36 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

Last season was the definition of a rollercoaster ride for the Louisville Cardinals that ended with the team finding their stride at the perfect time.  The Cards claimed the Big East Tournament title and then made a run to the Final Four before being ousted by in-state rival Kentucky.  With a ton of talent returning, Rick Pitino should have his squad back in the championship picture.

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#11 Syracuse Orange: College Basketball 111 in 111

syracuse-orange

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s third annual college basketball season preview series.  Two years we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  Last year, we were slightly more aggressive and expanded to 111 teams in 111 days and will do so again as we look ahead to the 2012-2013 season.

We will rank the 75 power conference teams and top 36 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

With the disappointing outcome of Friday night’s expected aircraft carrier games, the Syracuse Orange are hoping for better luck Sunday when they take on San Diego State on the deck of the USS Midway.  The game has already been postponed from its original tip date of Friday and if the conditions hold, should be the start of another season (and their last season since they move to the ACC next year) in which Jim Boeheim has ‘Cuse competing for a Big East title.

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#19 Cincinnati Bearcats: College Basketball 111 in 111

cincinnati cheerleaders

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s third annual college basketball season preview series.  Two years we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  Last year, we were slightly more aggressive and expanded to 111 teams in 111 days and will do so again as we look ahead to the 2012-2013 season.

We will rank the 75 power conference teams and top 36 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

The Cincinnati Bearcats were at the epicenter of college basketball’s black eye last season when they brawled on the court with crosstown rival, Xavier.  Rather than letting that spin Cincy’s season in a downward spiral, Mick Cronin rallied his team and they grew stronger as the season progressed.  The ‘Cats should once again be in a position to make some noise since they return three of their five starters.

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#20 Marquette Golden Eagles: College Basketball 111 in 111

buzz williams dance

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s third annual college basketball season preview series.  Two years we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  Last year, we were slightly more aggressive and expanded to 111 teams in 111 days and will do so again as we look ahead to the 2012-2013 season.

We will rank the 75 power conference teams and top 36 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

WARNING: As a Marquette alum and obsessive Golden Eagle basketball fan, this is going to take my lengthy, in-depth, nerdy previews to a whole new level.  If I were you, I would clear out ten minutes of your schedule before beginning to read this.

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#28 Pitt Panthers: College Basketball 111 in 111

Pittsburgh cheerleader

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s third annual college basketball season preview series.  Two years we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  Last year, we were slightly more aggressive and expanded to 111 teams in 111 days and will do so again as we look ahead to the 2012-2013 season.

We will rank the 75 power conference teams and top 36 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

After suffering through a rare season filled with struggles, the Pitt Panthers will look to end their tenure as members of the Big East Conference with a bang.  A few key newcomers should make it easier for Jamie Dixon to return to the winning ways this program has become accustomed to seeing.

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#31 Georgetown Hoyas: College Basketball 111 in 111

georgetown hoyas cheeleaders

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s third annual college basketball season preview series.  Two years we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  Last year, we were slightly more aggressive and expanded to 111 teams in 111 days and will do so again as we look ahead to the 2012-2013 season.

We will rank the 75 power conference teams and top 36 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

The Georgetown Hoyas lose their top three scorers from a year ago but have some talented young players who will need to step into bigger roles this season for the team to be a player in the Big East Conference.

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#44 St. John’s Red Storm: College Basketball 111 in 111

st. john's cheerleaders

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s third annual college basketball season preview series.  Two years we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  Last year, we were slightly more aggressive and expanded to 111 teams in 111 days and will do so again as we look ahead to the 2012-2013 season.

We will rank the 75 power conference teams and top 36 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

A lack of depth really left the St. John’s Red Storm with little chance of being a factor in the Big East last season.  With Steve Lavin healthy and back on the bench, and improved depth up and down the roster, St. John’s will be a bigger factor this season.

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